Where has the Small Tortoiseshell gone?

It may have come to your attention over the past few days in our national news, the plight of some of Scotland’s butterflies. After two rather wet summers our Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell and populations have suffered dramatically. In 2015, Peacock numbers had plummeted by 97% from the previous year and a similar trend is expected this year as well. Mid-August is the peak time to see these butterflies but at the moment, few have been spotted. This might be due to the wet weather we had been having but now the sun is a shining, fingers crossed, more will be on the wing.

Small Tortoiseshell (c) Richard Burkmarr
Small Tortoiseshell (c) Richard Burkmarr

Late last year Butterfly Conservation launched the Urban Butterfly Project. They would like you to get involved in helping them find out which species of butterfly are most at home in the towns and cities of central Scotland. Having this information is vital for their work. It allows them to see how butterfly populations are faring, and will influence the conservation work they do in Scotland. They will be working closely with councils and the people who manage some of these greenspaces to make them better places for butterflies. So you can see, your records will be very important!

Because of the dramatic decline in records for Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell butterflies Butterfly Conservation are asking if you can send your sightings (including location, date and any photographs you make have taken) to Anthony McCluckey at amccluskey@butterfly-conservation.org or submit your sightings on the iRecord Butterflies app. This free app is available on iTunes and the Google Store. It will guide you through the identification of any butterfly that you see in the UK and allow you to add your sighting to millions of other valuable records. It is easy to use and last week I submitted a sighting of a Small Copper I had spotted at the Falls of Clyde!

Laura Preston – Falls of Clyde Ranger, Scottish Wildlife Trust
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Preface

It may have come to your attention over the past few days in our national news, the plight of some of Scotland’s butterflies. After two rather wet summers our Peacock …

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